Happy Hump Day morning, Mane Landers. So, you’ve survived Election Day and the sky miraculously has not fallen. That’s a good thing, because it means we’re all still on course to open our new soccer stadium in the spring of 2017.
Although none of our Orlando teams are still playing this late into the year, the USWNT has two upcoming friendlies and the USMNT is about to take on Mexico and Costa Rica in the Hex. While we wait for those games, here are some Lion Links to chew on.
Jason Kreis Visits Brazil
The recent partnership between Orlando City and Brazilian side Atlético Paranaense is already paying dividends. Lions boss Jason Kreis has gone to Curitiba, Brazil to tour the Serie A side’s facilities and check out their training methods. According to the Brazilian club’s website, Kreis arrived on Sunday and is due to leave today. Google translated from the above linked story:
"I am very impressed with the physical structure. It's amazing, fantastic. For the United States, is a great model, which has the same structure all competition teams from Training categories to the first team," said Kreis.
According to the International Relations director of the Rubro-Negro, Luiz Greco, this visit close relations between the two clubs, which follows the partnership announced on Feb. 1.
"Jason Kreis came to know our facilities. During these three days, also notice some training of our teams, as well as talk about other points of the partnership. They [Orlando City] have an interest in developing a training work as good as our "said Greco.
The two clubs entered into an agreement just over a week ago, so it’s nice to see that it’s already bearing fruit.
Gordon Replaces Morris on USMNT Roster
In yesterday’s Lion Links, we discussed Jordan Morris’ hamstring injury and how it might force him out of the two upcoming World Cup qualifiers for the USMNT. Well, that has happened and the Seattle star rookie has been replaced by LA Galaxy veteran Alan Gordon. “Gordo” has two career caps, so there’s not a lot of senior international experience to replace Morris with, and the two players are quite dissimilar in style. It’s probably not a great sign for the U.S. if Gordon is on the field against Mexico.
FIFA Forbids British Players from Wearing Poppies
Soccer’s governing body won’t let players wear poppies in honor of Remembrance Day in the upcoming England-Scotland friendly. Britons traditionally wear various versions of the flower to commemorate those who gave their lives in the service to their country. FIFA rules prohibit wearing religious, political, or commercial symbols on national team uniforms. I have no problem with that rule, but in my opinion, honoring the dead doesn’t seem to fall under any of those three categories. Your mileage may vary. British Prime Minister Theresa May isn’t happy with the ruling.
“I think the stance that has been taken by FIFA is utterly outrageous,” Mrs. May said. “Our football players want to recognize and respect those who have given their lives for our safety and security. I think it is absolutely right that they should be able to do so.”
Remembrance Day is this Friday, when England and Scotland meet for an international friendly.
Speaking of FIFA...
The U.S. investigation into FIFA corruption is bearing fruit. The latest ex-soccer official to face justice is former Venezuela soccer federation president Rafael Esquivel, who stands accused of being involved in schemes turning up more than $200 million worth of bribes and kickbacks in exchange for marketing and broadcasting rights for tournaments and matches. Esquivel is expected to plead guilty.
That’s all from me today. Enjoy your Wednesday as we gear up for Thursday’s USWNT friendly and Friday’s USMNT-Mexico tilt and be sure to keep it tuned right here at The Mane Land for all your Orlando City, Orlando Pride, and OCB news.